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Monday, March 14, 2016

M3 Mayfly Nymph

A realistic Box Filler

In my tying it seems as if I get really caught up in the synthetic materials, flashy fibers, markers, etc...  One day while I was fishing a local river on a pretty bright summer day I was determined to focus on my nymphing techniques on this stretch of river.  I knew that the fish were plentiful, and they would readily eat a good fly that was properly presented, but I was having a hard time hooking up that day.  As I waded upstream there was a steep bank that dropped right into a deep hole that was for sure a home to many fish.  As I approached this hole, I realized that my best shot at getting a proper drift would be to stand on the bank nearest the deep part of the hole and make a cast from a higher vantage point.  As I stood looking into this dark hole, I realized that my nymphs were giving off a LOT of reflecting light due to the sun being directly overhead.  I fished them for a bit with no luck, so I brought them in and saw that there was just a minimal amount of flash on the wing cases of both of my flies.  That minimal amount was enough for the sun to hit them and make them look like flash strobes.  I clipped them off and replaced them with very drab, flashless patterns that looked more like a natural.  I did catch fish after making the change, and I often think back to that experience while I'm at the vise.  I'm not saying that all flies need to be removed of flash, but it's a great idea to have some more plain patterns in the box.

A friend of mine, Michael Faulkinbury, recently showed me his most popular nymph pattern and I immediately started adding them to my boxes.  At first it was kind of hard to decipher what he was using for the tail and body, and I was pretty surprised when he told me.  It's called the M3 (Moose Mane Morsel) and the tail, body, and wing case are all tied out of Nature's Spirit Speckled Moose Body Hair...  He said he used to tie it out of moose mane until the nice body hair came out, so maybe we need to call it the Mike's Moose Morsel or something like that.  Anyway, Michael is a great fly tyer who does some amazing work with natural materials.  Check out his instagram feed @2dryfly.

~ Cheech

*Please note...  Make sure the super glue has time to set up before placing the resin over the fly.



Hook: Daiichi 1560 - #16-20 (+)
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Olive Dun (+)
Tail/Body/Wingcase: Speckled Moose Body Hair - Olive (+)
Thorax: Snowshoe Hare's Foot Dubbing - Olive Gray (+)


Hook: Daiichi 1560 - #16-20 (+)
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Iron Gray (+)
Tail/Body/Wingcase: Speckled Moose Body Hair - Medium Dun (+)
Thorax: Snowshoe Hare's Foot Dubbing - Hare's Ear (+)


Hook: Daiichi 1560 - #16-20 (+)
Thread: Uni 8/0 - Camel (+)
Tail/Body/Wingcase: Speckled Moose Body Hair - Brown (+)
Thorax: Snowshoe Hare's Foot Dubbing - Hare's Ear (+)

Other Items Used:
Loon Fluorescing UV Resin (+)
Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool (+)


  1. Why the different hook between the Ice Hairs Ear and this fly? I'm just curious as to what goes into the decision for various hooks that are pretty similar.

    1. The other hook is designed specifically for bead heads. That being said, the two hooks are pretty interchangeable.

    2. Thanks as always Cheech! Is it me or does this look exactly like an OG Pheasant Tail with some resin on it?

    3. It's definitely similar, but I guess you could say the same thing about most swimming mayfly nymphs. The smooth body will make it act differently in the water.

  2. Curtis and Cheech, that's a super representation of the M3, I'm humbled you guys dig it and hope it brings some pigs to the net for you!

  3. Very nice fly- has the clean lines of a winner. Reminds me of a fly called the AP nymph, tied by a guy named Andre Puyans in the CA Bay Area back in the 80's. Never tried his fly 'cause the dude was a jerk, but that is another story :-)